NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales and Leader of UKIP Wales, is urging military veterans to make sure they tell their GP they have served their country.
Mr Hamilton has welcomed a Welsh Government campaign to ensure service men and women get their entitled services.
“I fully support any measures which help former members of the armed forces receive priority treatment for any conditions arising as a result of their time in military service” He said.
“Many veterans are physically disabled or suffer mental health problems and it is vital they have the support they need as soon as possible. Some of them may not even think of themselves as veterans, or think it relevant to disclose, but it is important to tell their GP as they may be entitled to priority treatment.”
“There are an estimated 149,000 former service men and women living in Wales, and we have a moral obligation to make sure we look after them and provide the appropriate support.”
Veterans are former members of the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force, or the Merchant Navy and fishermen who served in a vessel that supported a military operation by HM Forces.
Where the referring GP and consultant agree that the patient’s condition is related to their military service they have been asked to prioritise veterans over other patients with the same level of clinical need. Veterans will not be given priority over other patients with more urgent clinical needs.
Identifying the individual as a veteran can help with the appropriate prioritisation of access to NHS services and ensure that any potential physical and mental health and social issues are explored.
The campaign is supported by the Royal British Legion and Ant Metcalfe, the Legion’s Area Manager for Wales, who called on all veterans to highlight their time in service to their GPs and other healthcare providers to ensure that it is taken into consideration.